Why Was Kobe Bryant’s Daughter, Gianna, With Him When His Helicopter Crashed?

Most fans heard the devastating news of Kobe Bryant’s death early on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. However, reports came later that his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, also died in the shocking Sunday morning helicopter crash. Why was she the only one of Bryant’s daughters traveling with him? Let’s take a look at where the two were headed.

Helicopter Crash
The scene of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna | David McNew/Getty Images

The helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California

The 41-year-old former NBA star and his middle daughter, Gianna, were traveling in his private helicopter when it went down in Calabasas, CA, according to TMZ Sports. Kobe often commuted by helicopter to take him from Newport Beach, CA, to the Staples Center in DTLA when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers. 

The investigation into why the helicopter crashed into the hillside in CA is ongoing. Five people (including Bryant and his daughter) died in the wreckage with no survivors, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office. 

Gianna Bryant was a rising star basketball player

The teenage girl attended Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles, CA, according to the NBA Family Fandom. She played basketball for the Los Angeles Lady Mamba girls basketball team and dreamed of playing for the UConn Huskies Women’s basketball team. 

During Bryant’s career, he often took Gianna and her older sister, 17-year-old Natalia to his NBA games. The girls loved to go out on the court and shoot around with their father during warm-ups. Gianna also has two younger sisters, 3-year-old Bianka and 7-month-old Capri. 

Bryant was recently spotted out with his 13-year old daughter at various NBA games. He also often posts videos of ‘GiGi’ playing basketball on his social media accounts.  

“Gigi getting better everyday,” he captioned one video posted six days ago.

Where were Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, going when the helicopter crashed?

The crash occurred shortly before 10 a.m. near Las Virgenes Road, south of Agoura Road, after departing from John Wayne Airport at 9:06 a.m. Sunday morning. 

Bryant and GiGi were on their way to Mamba Academy for basketball practice. Another teammate and her parent were also in the helicopter. They commute from their home in Orange County to the Academy, which is in Thousand Oaks. 

Bryant partnered with the 100,000 square-foot Mamba Sports Academy, where Gianna played in January 2019. The facility operates five basketball courts, five volleyball courts, two beach volleyball courts, a turf field, an esports training ground, batting cages, pitching mounds, and a Gracie Barra jiu-jitsu school.

The country is devastated by the loss of the legend who was working diligently to coach the youth of America. Hundreds of people gathered outside the Staples Center Sunday for a memorial.